At the EPP’s Saint Géry Dialogue on “Past, Present and Future of Europe”, the climate was quite interesting. Though Manfred Weber had made headlines with his announcing his candidacy as Spitzenkandidat, the talk of the town was Alexander Stubb. A New Europe journalist at the event told Kassandra, “It was like Weber’s candidacy doesn’t even exist. Even in the discussions among members of the audience after the formal speeches were over, I didn’t hear his name even once.”

While the expectation is that Stubb will announce his candidacy imminently, hopes in the EPP-filled room were with more candidates joining the race. Whispers supported calls to Enda Kenny, Angela Merkel, and even for machinations to see Margrethe Vestager become President through a strategic compromise and the subsequent give-and-take.